4 Philly startups make finals of Milken-Penn edtech competition [Startup Roundup]

DreamIt Ventures named a new Philly managing director, Arcweb has a new office and the DreamIt Health startups have been busy.

Mr. Firefox Quantum and the chartered ferry. (Photo courtesy of Stephanie Gaweda/Mozilla)
Full Disclosure: This reporter helped judge the Milken-Penn GSE Education Business Plan Competition.


DreamIt Ventures named a new managing director, said Dana Rygwelski, DreamIt’s director of programs. Patrick Fitzgerald, a Wharton professor, will run DreamIt Philly, as well as help Elliot Menschik run DreamIt Health in Philly. He is not replacing anyone, as it’s a newly defined role.

Fitzgerald was the CEO of NannyCaddy, which provided vending machines full of materials for parents like diapers and formula. He’s also worked with companies like ChargeItSpot, Philadelphia Distilling, Philly Car Share and SeedInvest. Applications will open for DreamIt Philly’s fall cycle on April 30.

The Milken-Penn Graduate School of Education (GSE) Education Business Plan Competition announced the 12 finalists who will compete in the May competition, EdSurge reported. Four are from Philadelphia: DreamIt Health graduate and medical education mobile app Osmosis, education iPad app startup SmartyPAL, GoodCompany Group graduate and SAT/ACT vocabulary tool Professor Word and Drexel-founded scholarship finder Scholly. See the whole list here. All of these finalists will have the option of joining the Education Design Studio, Inc. edtech incubator.

Relay, the Radnor-based mobile startup, hired Lisa Herman to lead the company’s “client delivery team,” according to a release. Herman was previously the global head of product development for Citi‘s prepaid card division and worked with Relay cofounders Matt Gillin and Paul Raden at Ecount.

Wash Cycle Laundry now counts West Philly’s Veterans Affairs Hospital as one of its customers, said founder Gabriel Mandujano at a Chamber of Commerce event last week. The VA Hospital was getting its laundry done “west of the Allegheny Mountains,” Mandujano said. “So when it snows, they would get their laundry a day late.” Now, presumably, they don’t have that problem. Also check out the sustainable laundry company’s feature in the Daily News.

Seratis plans to launch at Penn Medicine’s psychiatric unit, according to a Daily News article. The DreamIt Health company provides mobile communications for hospitals. The company also received $10,000 in the Wharton Venture Initiation Program (Seratis cofounder Lane Rettig is current Wharton MBA candidate.)

Software company Arcweb is hiring, plus they’re in a new office in Old City at 234 Market Street, according to their website. That’s the same building as Artisan Mobile and media company Cubist Media Group. Arcweb grew out of Indy Hall, where it was the biggest single team the coworking space ever held. 

Speaking of Artisan, here’s where some former Artisan devs have ended up: engineer Nicholas Hilem is now CTO at Mike Krupit‘s new venture, a tool called IntroNet that facilitates and tracks introductions; engineer Kevin Jenkins (also of HipsterCityCycle) is technical lead at New York City-based enterprise mobile company Connective Contacts. Both Hilem and Jenkins left Artisan at the end of 2013, according to their LinkedIns.

The founders of Center City’s ZeroPushStefan Natchev and Adam Duke —  are also Artisan alumni, though they left when the company was still called appRenaissance. Kevin Clough, who now works at Innovations, also worked at Artisan when it was called appRenaissance and left at the end of 2012, according to his LinkedIn.

If you’re a life sciences industry employee who was displaced by a merger or acquisition, Benjamin Franklin Technology Partners is looking for you. The state-backed fund is creating companies through its Life Sciences Connect program, which connects displaced life sciences workers and technology being developed at local universities. Send your resume to PALSconnect AT to be considered.


Grand Round Table, an electronic health record company, raised $60,000, according to an SEC filing. The DreamIt Health graduate is currently running a pilot with Einstein Medical Center, said CEO Eric King.


Cloudmine was featured in the Daily News.

Mayor Nutter toured the more than 30 tech startups that were at the annual Entrepreneur Expo organized by Philly Startup Leaders during Philly Tech Week. To get in though, he took a Ticketleap ‘selfie’ to serve as his ticket — see it here.

Companies: Osmosis / Scholly / SmartyPAL / Seratis / Professor Word / Arcweb Technologies / CloudMine / DreamIt Ventures / Grand Round Table / Relay Network / Wash Cycle Laundry

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